Donald Trump headed to Florida on Monday ahead of his expected indictment on Tuesday on 37 federal counts related to the holding of classified documents to resounding support from Republican voters and growing opposition among senior GOP senators.
Related: Kari Lake’s vow to defend Trump with guns threatens democracy, says Democrat
According to a CBS News/YouGov poll, 80% of likely Republican voters believe Trump should remain eligible for re-election as president even if convicted.
However, an unnamed former Senate aide told Hill that leaders, including minority leader Mitch McConnell, and his deputy, John Thune, want Trump “to go so they wouldn’t be very upset if this the thing is that lasts in the end.” him out”.
Trump faces a series of charges for holding classified documents, including national security information, under the Espionage Act and as outlined in the indictment that was dramatically unsealed Friday.
Added to his state indictment in New York over a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, the first ever former president to face criminal charges now faces 71 counts.
Trump denies all allegations, including other allegations of election subversion, his business affairs and a $5 million fine imposed in New York after he was found liable for assault and libel against writer E Jean Carroll.
Trump pleaded not guilty in the New York hush money case and is expected to do so again on Tuesday in the federal classified file case in Florida. He will speak Tuesday night after the hearing at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
The former president, who turns 77 on Wednesday, is reportedly seeking new legal representation, but on Sunday the CBS News/YouGov poll gave him some upbeat reading.
In addition to 80% support among likely Republican voters to run even if convicted, the same survey showed that 76% thought the charges were politically motivated and 61% said the case would not change their view of Trump anyway change.
Charges in the classified documents case carry sentences of up to 20 years and fines of $250,000.
Jack Smith, the special counsel who filed the indictment and who continues to investigate Trump’s election subversion, told reporters on Friday he would seek “a speedy trial … consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused.”
Trump responded with anger and defiance. Smith has also become a target for the former president’s competitors in the Republican primaries he dominates.
From Trump’s closest challenger, Ron DeSantis, to his former vice president, Mike Pence, candidates big and small have criticized the special counsel, claiming that Trump is being treated unfairly.
So are Trump allies in Congress, most notably South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who erupted in anger during an interview with ABC on Sunday.
“I think Donald Trump is politically stronger today than before,” Graham said. “We’ll have an election and we’ll have a lawsuit, but I promise you this: most Americans believe, most Republicans believe, the law is being used as a weapon against Donald Trump.”
Graham also said that while he “didn’t justify [Trump’s] behavior,” he would “not change my support for Donald Trump.”
Republicans in a far-right-dominated House caucus have flocked to Trump’s defense, but senior senators have long taken a more aloof approach.
In response to the indictment, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate, said: “Mr. Trump brought these accusations on himself by not only seizing classified documents, but simply refusing to return them when he had numerous got chances.”